Outriders is a third-person action-adventure looter shooter developed by People Can Fly who previously developed Bulletstorm and Gears of War: Judgment. You play as a mercenary hired to protect important personnel on a mission to a mysterious alien planet. However, as you go on your venture on this planet you encounter a dangerous storm and are forced into cryostasis to protect yourself, and waking up fifty years later. From here you get caught up in the mysteries of the planet, your powers, and raging civil war.
The story of Outriders is completely linear, you’re never forced into co-op-only missions at any point. So you can roughly finish the campaign in a couple of days depending on how skilled you are. In Outriders, you’ll find a lot of great characters that definitely wear sarcasm and personality on their sleeves. In serious moments, one will crack a joke or remark lightening up the mood, helping them all feel real. The writing isn’t amazing but they capture the gritty reality they want you to be involved in. However I cannot recall a single track from the game, so don’t expect any music to stick with you.
A Challenging Looter Shooter
The gameplay of Outriders is a mix of third-person cover-based shooting, class-based ability reliance, and of course, the loot and all of the systems in between. Classes have eight abilities that can be mix and matched to find the perfect rotation that works player to player. Going alongside this is a skill tree with three branches of paths to choose from to help your ability choices. The game does encourage you to try different skills, with mods you can equip on armor via the crafting system. But you can take it a step further by changing up your playstyle to unlock accolades, which give you cosmetic items, ranging from a boney flag pole for fast travel areas and a trophy to post on your in-game vehicle.
The Brave Little End Game
The end game of Outriders is plentiful and enjoyable if you’re playing with friends. Each mission in the end game is clearly designed for a full team to tackle. This creates a problem when trying to solo play any of them, which is doable but not recommended at higher levels. After reaching the highest level and obtaining enough resources you can take on the ultimate challenge of the end game. If you’re itching for legendaries to take with you in the end game, specific repeatable quest chains can reward them. Be on the lookout for:
- Historian; venturing into small areas to uncover relics.
- Hunts; venturing into small areas to take down a big beast of the wilds.
- Wanted; venturing into small areas to take down a human causing trouble.
A Rough Launch
Outriders released a demo a month prior to release, plagued with forced motion blur and shaky camera during cutscenes. There were also framerate drops and stutters, that were all fixed by the launch on April 1st. This does not excuse, however, the constant server outages and disconnections at launch. Disconnections would happen and still happen randomly during co-op or matchmaking and at one point the servers were all down for half a day. I understand there will always be technical problems with a new game at launch that patches resolve.
However, the recent patch that was implemented to fix the unbearable amount of crashing I experienced introduced a more prominent character wipe bug, which as of now has been resolved. People Can Fly are looking into restorations for player accounts affected and thank you packages for all players. While this is great, I’m sure this is not how they wanted to launch the game.
Outriders is still a fun game though, beautiful too, the legendary weapons are just gorgeous to look at and use. It will offer around thirty hours of content with countless more in the end game. People Can Fly still have their touch and did a fantastic job with this game technical issues aside. The one thing I will still never understand is the game’s ridiculous area transitions such as entering a cutscene to jump a gap or tree branches levitating, though.
Outriders is available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC, Google Stadia for $59.99 but available in Xbox Game Pass on Xbox consoles and cloud streaming.
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I honestly wanted Outriders to get a small delay, I felt like they had a lot of technical issues to fix, and it took them over two weeks to iron them out post-launch. I love Outriders, and I look forward to playing it casually like I do Borderland 3, but this game actually crashed my console at one point just trying to play co-op with a buddy on the Xbox One. Before that, it crashed when I tried to tab over in my inventory, and when he tried to initiate an end game mission, it was that bad at launch! I just wanted the delay so People Can Fly could get all the time they needed to make the end-user experience much better. I hope we can as a community can ask for delays more often, not fear them.
It's a great and challenging looter shooter with plenty to do, but a rough ride technically.